Faculty Profile

Mara Donaldson

Professor of Religion (1990)

Contact Information


East College Room 207


Her teaching focuses on contemporary religious thought, especially feminist and liberation theologies, and religion and art, including contemporary fantasy literature, film, and popular culture.


  • B.A., Wilson College, 1971
  • M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1974
  • Ph.D., Emory University, 1984

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

RELG 211 Religion and Fantasy
An exploration of the religious and mythological dimensions of traditional and modern fantasy literature. Our explorations will be guided by three interdependent themes: the nature of the divine, the nature of the human, and the nature of the moral life.

RELG 390 Interpreting Religion
An advanced introduction to some fundamental issues of theory and method in the academic study of religion. Selected religious phenomena will be examined using the perspectives such as those of the history of religions, psychology, sociology, anthropology, philology, philosophy, and theology. Emphasis will be placed upon methods of research and styles of writing in the study of religion.

Spring 2016

RELG 110 Religion and Modern Culture
Drawing upon popular examples from film, drama, and narrative, as well as critical essays, the course explores both the religious dimensions of modern culture myth, sacred space and time, nature spirituality and the cultural contexts of contemporary theologies gender, race, economics.

RELG 250 Mother Earth
This course explores how earth centered religions foster models of sustainability for the contemporary world. Topics include: history of the debates about the role of religion, especially Christianity, in climate change, emergence of sustainability as an ethic for climate change, and the intersection between climate change, sustainability and current discussions about the ethics of food.

RELG 490 Senior Seminar
Advanced investigation of methods and critical perspectives for the study of religion with a focus to be determined by the instructor. Writing enriched. Prerequisite: 390 or permission of the instructor.